Friday June 21, 2024

KP cabinet approves sale of 18 MW power to local industries

By Riaz Khan Daudzai
March 14, 2019

PESHAWAR: Resolving the longstanding issue of local utilisation of the hydropower being produced in the province, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet on Wednesday approved the sale of 18 megawatts (MW) electricity generated by Pehur Hydro Power Plant to the Gadoon Amazai Industrial Estate (GAIE).

The electricity generated by the Pehur Hydro Power Plant would be provided to the local industrial units at the GAIE through the transmission system of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) on wheeling charges.

The wheeling charge is a price per megawatt-hour amount that a transmission company or organisation receives for the use of its transmission system to export power to another entity. This power export fee is referred to as a wheeling charge and the local industrialists have been long fighting for the supply of the locally produced electricity on wheeling charges by the transmission company.

The Prime Minister at the request of the provincial government has already directed the Central Power Purchasing Committee (CPPA), National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) and Peshawar Electricity Supply Company (Pesco) to facilitate Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and provide transmission facilities on wheeling charges to the province enabling it to utilize locally produced electricity for its industry.

The cabinet was told that provision of cheaper and uninterrupted electricity supply to the local industries would help expedite industrialisation and revival of sick industrial units in the province. It would also contribute to creating better employment opportunities in the province.

The provincial cabinet met with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair. It was attended by provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, chief secretary, administrative secretaries, IGP and other concerned officers.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through its Power and Energy Organisation (PEDO) is producing 160 megawatts (MW) electricity on just Rs4 per unit. It includes 81 MW produced by Malakand III, 22 MW at Ranolia, Daral Khwar 34 MW, Machay Hydropower Project 2.5 MW and 18 MW by the Pehur power project. However, the province is providing some of the power to the national grid at the rate of Rs4 per unit and is then purchasing it for Rs18.

Ironically, the federal entities are not making any payment for the 18 MW electricity received from the Pehur Power project since 2010. This is despite the fact that the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has fixed per unit price for the province at Rs4.

Ranolia is producing 22 MW power, but the CPPC was not willing to purchase the electricity. The circumstances forced the province to provide the electricity produced by its power plants to local industries.

The cabinet authorised Energy and Power department to sell electricity generated from Pehur Hydel Power plant to industries in Gadoon Amazai Industrial Estate (GAIE) through open bidding in accordance with the relevant laws.

The cabinet decision will enable the GAIE to get electricity at a rate ranging from Rs 6.5 to Rs 10.5 per unit instead of the current rate of Pesco that stood at Rs14 per unit. The cabinet also approved amendment to the section 28 of the Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Rules 2016 which envisages age limit for appointment of Chief Protection Officer. It also approved 2018-19 annual development programme (ADP) for Mardan district.

The chief minister directed that the cabinet will meet every 15 days for regular meetings and briefings would be held to speed up pace of ongoing development work in the merged districts. He said the cabinet would also review implementation of decisions of the previous meetings.

Mahmood Khan also ordered amendments to rules and laws pertaining to promotion of investment in the province with an objective to expedite economic activities and generate employment opportunities.

The cabinet reiterated that ministers and administrative heads of government departments would regularly visit the merged districts to keep the people abreast of the 10 years development plan for erstwhile Fata.

The cabinet was briefed about the decisions regarding the extension of judicial, police, health, and local government system to the recently merged districts in the former tribal areas.

The cabinet was told that 152 officers of Prison department have been deputed in the merged tribal districts and 907 posts approved by government for lower courts in the district. It was also briefed that Peshawar High Court (PHC) has completed deputation of sessions judges, senior civil judges and civil judges in the merged districts who have already started functioning.

The cabinet was told that about 393 posts of police have been approved for appointment in tribal districts besides establishment of 25 police stations there. The cabinet was informed that in the initial stage an amount of Rs568 million would be made available for extension of police to merged districts.

The cabinet was told that the government was fast working on holding of both local government and provincial assembly elections in the merged districts as the delimitation process has been completed in the tribal districts after the Election Commission of Pakistan issued notification increasing the constituencies of KP Assembly from 124 to 147.